Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Fun!

Run, eat, drink, cook, drink, eat!

This is basically the theme of Thanksgiving for me.  In order to make sure I could eat a sufficient amount of Thanksgiving deliciousness, I made sure to get outside and run beforehand.  I got in a nice paced 2.25 mile run.  Thanksgiving was a perfectly sunny, low wind day in the mid 30s.  It made for a really nice run.

Around lunch time, I finally got the husband out of bed (we had a late night the night before) and we headed over to my parents house for our first Thanksgiving meal.  We knew we were only going to stay for a few hours because this being our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, we wanted to make our own dinner at our home that evening.  This Thanksgiving was especially exciting because it was our nieces first turkey day!  We had a nice time eating and (me) enjoying a few glasses of wine with my family.

Around four or so, we headed back to our place to get our food in the oven for our little "Friendsgiving".  This summer I made some friends at my job who aren't originally from our area.  They couldn't make it home to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families, so we invited them to join us for supper!

Matt's favorite part of the meal was his ham that he had planned since probably the moment we decided to do our own Thanksgiving, which was months ago.

One of our buddies who came over for supper is a home-brewer and brought over a delicious American Pale Ale!  It was so tasty!  By the way, this glass is one of four that we picked up at TJ Maxx for $3 a piece!  What a great buy!  They seem very well made.  They are heavy and great for any drink we will be enjoying this holiday season. 


Our table was (slightly) festive.  I only wish I would have found Thanksgiving themed plates like I was searching for.  Oh well!
All in all, it was a great day with great company.

In other news, I started a running streak with Runners World called the Holiday Streak.  It runs from Thanksgiving through New Years Day.  It involves running at least one mile per day.  This means that even on rest days, I'm going to be getting in at least a mile.  I'm looking forward to the challenge and am excited to see my weekly mileage increasing over the next month!

 How was your Thanksgiving?  How many meals did you end up eating??

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November Progress and Goals

 What I've Achieved...What's Next?

I'm thinking that since I'm back on the "running bandwagon" and I really want to see this through and achieve quite a few goals I've thought about for a long time, I should evaluate those goals and my current progress at the end of each month.

Here's where we're at so far:

This week involved getting back into the "groove" of running.  It's so funny, once I get going, I never want to stop.  I want to run every. single. day.  I've been trying to give myself some rest days, but to be honest, it's rough!  I just want to run!  I've always read to listen to what your body is saying to you and so far, it hasn't been unhappy!  So that's great!  Had it not been for the rain, I would have run this afternoon.  Tomorrow is another day.  :)

So far, I feel like I'm doing pretty well.  I was super proud of myself Monday night.  That 2 mile run was all a run except for about 1/10th of a mile halfway through.  This was a big deal for me!  I'm super proud.  It was also 30 degrees out and dark, so that makes me even more proud.  I feel like I run so much better when I'm freezing cold!

Onto my current goals:

I think that running 100 miles in 60 days is an attainable goal that I hope to blow out of the water!  This means I have to run at least 12.5 miles each week.  This will be a bit of a challenge in the beginning I'm sure, but I plan to increase my miles each week meaning I should get to 100 miles by the end of January!

So this is where we're at.  Progress and goals!  Let's do this!

Do you have anything you've done recently that you're super proud of?  
Any goals you want to achieve?  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wishlist: Running Earbuds

Yikes!  I Need a Replacement!

When my dad asked me to write up a list of a few things I would like for Christmas, nothing immediately came to mind.  Over the past few weeks, I have come up with a few things I would like to have.  One of which, I have actually been contemplating purchasing for myself for months now.  Thanks to YouTube beauty guru Fleur and her husband Mike's Christmas Gift Guide For Him, I remembered that I wanted this item!  Turns out, their recommendation for earbuds for the "active guy" was exactly what this girl was looking for!  As much as I like the ones they recommended (Bose SIE2 Sport Headphones), the price point isn't exactly what I would like my parents to spend and I have had my eyes on another pair from Senheiser for quite some time.

Earbuds are something that I always have a hard time with.  I think it's a combination of me having small ear canals (at least I think that's what's going wrong) and the fact that I just don't like having something in my ear.  Earbuds however, are extremely convenient and don't look ridiculous like the other crazy headphones I see other people wearing.  (No offense if you like them, they're just not for me...unless I'm gaming...even then, my gaming headphones are quite sleek...I'm digressing...).  

And then there's these...

Anyway, I've discovered that the best earbuds for me when running and frankly the only ones that stay in my ears are running specific earbuds.  I need that extra little piece that I can slip into the concha (I know, very technical term) of my ear so that the whole thing doesn't fall out while I'm running.  

I have a pair of Senheiser headphones right now.  I love them.  Unfortunately, these buddies have seen better days.  I've had them for almost two years now and I'm not sure if it's age or our old roommates kitten who had an affinity for chewing wires or a combination of the two, but they are getting a little bit worn.

As you can (hopefully) see, I am missing a rubber thing that helps prevent the earbud from scratching the inside of my ear (OUCH) and I have tied loops in the cord because the rubber protecting the wires have cracks(?) or bitemarks(?) and those wires are preeeeetty thin and breakable at this point.  Not good.

If I could, I would order the same earbuds all over again...or ask for them for Christmas for that matter.  Unfortunately, I can't find the model number on them and for the life of me I can't find them online.  And believe me, I have searched.  Extensively.

Therefore, I have found myself another model of Senheisers to ask for!  Enter the Senhesier CX680 Sports Earbud.  These little babies are somewhat similar to the buds I have already, with a slightly different design.  Apparently these guys have a Kevlar reinforced cable so they can hopefully stand up to wear and tear and kitten teeth!  Another plus is the external volume control that as long as I don't find it getting in my way, I will thoroughly enjoy as sometimes you just have to TURN IT UP.  :)

So we'll see how these guys hold up.  I can't wait to try them out!  Hopefully they'll be in my stocking on Christmas but if not, I will certainly get my hands on them after the New Year!

 What's on your wishlist this year?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm Getting Back into Running!

Running!  Yay!

I've been an on-again, off-again runner for the past two years or so.  It all started when I decided to train for my first (and only so far) race, a 5K in April of 2012.  I took to the Couch-to-5K running plan that was a big craze back then.  What a cool concept!  Couch-to-5K was great for me because I really needed something to keep me on track and make me feel like I was actually accomplishing something.  Each week I completed, I discovered I was a stronger runner than I thought and was one step closer to running a 5K!  3.2 miles was a daunting task, but eventually I was able to run (a walk a little) in my first 5K!  It got me excited about running, but life happened and to be honest, I got a little depressed and lazy after graduating college.  I graduated in May of 2012 and found myself no longer a student and unemployed.  You would think that I would have plenty of time to go out and run but I honestly felt so bad about my predicament that I couldn't get the motivation to start something and stick to it.  This became a pattern for me over the past 18 months.  It seems that when you have nothing to work towards, sometimes the things that make you the happiest fall to the wayside.

That all changed over this past summer.  I rediscovered my deep love for my job as a National Park Ranger.  In March, I went back to the best job I can imagine for me.  It was a seasonal position with the National Park Service with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore at Bodie Island Lighthouse, a job I have had for three summers prior to this one.  It's a job I adore.  It's a job I'm good at.  It's the job I'm meant to do.  This summer made me realize that there are still things to look forward to when it comes to my career.  My anti-climatic college graduation left much to be desired, but I'm so lucky to have been invited back to the NPS this summer.  It was a breath of fresh air that I needed.  It may sound silly that this was what I needed to get back into running, but it's true.

So here I am, running again.  It's something I am passionate about.  Something I enjoy doing.  Something I plan to keep up with!  I even plan to run another race in the Spring!

What motivates you?  Do you like to run?  What do you run for? 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What is a healthy lifestyle anyway?

Let's Be Honest...

So, I'm going to be honest with you.  I love food.  I mean, I LOVE food.  I love good food.  I feel like I need to say some things about health and just put it out there.  I'm not going to talk about health from a strictly biological view point, but from an all-around well-rounded point of view.  I am no stranger to eating healthy or fitness.  It is something that I enjoy doing and see the positive changes it can make in someone's life.  I grew up in a household that served a lot of vegetables and not much soda.  Now, we weren't exactly the healthiest of families but I have to say that I remember a lot of fruits and vegetables and less fried, over-processed foods.  In high school, I worked out with a personal trainer alongside my friend who was training for an important karate tournament.  In my adult life, I have had ups and downs with health and fitness, but have luckily always remained at the same general size.  Last year, I received my Personal Trainer Certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  I enjoy wholesome foods and exercise.  

However, I want you to know that I LOVE food.  And I love being a couch potato some days.  I love computer games and I love good beer and wine.  I think it's important to ENJOY life.  Of course it's essential that we live a healthy, active lifestyle and make good choices in the foods we eat and the activities that we do.  But I feel like sometimes there is too much focus on all of the rules and regulations of how we should live everyday and what we should put in our bodies or do with our bodies.  
The first thing I see when logging onto the Health and Fitness page of Pinterest is a picture making someone feel bad about the food choices they make.  A sign saying "What you eat in private you wear in public" is not my idea of motivation for me to live a healthy lifestyle.  

My idea of a healthy lifestyle is understanding that making good food choices and exercise is important, but also that it's okay to indulge some days.  It's okay to miss a workout every once in a while.  Living a healthy lifestyle should not make you feel like a failure if you indulge in something every once in a while that allows you to enjoy life the way you choose to.  I think that a "healthy" lifestyle should not be only determined by the food choices we make and the workout we do today, but by our choices in the friends we keep and the relationships we have.  It should also be determined by the successes in our lives.  Not only by the miles we run or the weights we lift, but by the hearts we change and the smiles we exchange.  I'm not ashamed that I love food.  I'm not ashamed that some days I want to sit on the couch and eat chocolate.  In my opinion, as long as I eat wholesome foods and exercise regularly the majority of the time, I can have that glass of wine and that basket of fries.  So go out, enjoy the world.  Taste life, have some fun.  As they say, moderation is key and I could not agree more.